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Saint Stepanos Geosite

Saint Stepanos Geosite

Saint Stepanos Monastery is one of the most important Iranian National Monuments that registered as UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its antiquity, architecture and religious value. It was built inside a fortress and is the second most important Armenian Monastery in Iran after Saint Thaddeus Monastery. In the surrounding area of this monastery many beautiful geological phenomena such as folds and faults can be spotted.

Its northern mountains formed About 359 to 383 million years ago during the Late Devonian Period and the southern and eastern mountains date from Middle-Late Permian Period (251-270 million years ago). The St. Stepanos Monastery built in a hollow surrounded by pink, red and white mountains. There is a wide range of trace fossils (grooves, flute casts and ripple marks) on the stones used in the construction of pavements and walls around the building. According to identification and studies in this area those trace fossils dates back to the Eocene Epoch (33.9 to 56 million years ago).